Fairy Tail Farms English Orpingtons

ColtHandorf

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Feb 19, 2019
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...and occasionally other poultry.

After some good-natured ribbing and sometimes pleading from some members here I've decided to start a thread that will showcase my English Orpingtons (and probably the Seramas and Cochins occasionally). Currently I am breeding large fowl English Orpingtons in the following colors: Silver-laced, Blue, Black, Splash, Chocolate, Recessive White, Blue/Black/Splash Mottled, Lavender Mottled (growing out splits now), and am working on Lavender Silver-laced and Blue Silver-laced. In addition to the Orpingtons, I also breed American Seramas, Lemon-blue Bantam Cochins, Porcelain (Blue Cream) Silkies, Bourbon Red Turkeys, Guineas, Khaki Campbells, Chocolate (Pied) Muscovy, American Buff Geese, and Grey Saddleback Pomeranian Geese.

This is a satellite image compliments of Google Maps of the property so you can visualize the breeding set up:

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That is a future projection of the set-up I hope to have built before March of 2021. Currently pen numbers 3, 4, 5, 20, 21, and 22 (plus the fenced in backyard) exist. The end goal is this:

1. Grey Saddleback Pomeranians & Khaki Campbells
2. & 3. American Buff Geese, Chocolate Muscovy, (and possibly Guineas)
4. Bourbon Red Turkeys
5.
6. Silver-laced Orpington
7. Blue, Black, Splash Orpington (Mottled)
8. Blue, Black, Splash Silver-laced Orpington
9. Chocolate & Mauve Orpington
10. Lavender Silver-laced Orpington
11. Recessive White Orpington
12. Porcelain Silkies
13. Bantam Lemon Blue Cochins
14. American Seramas
15. American Seramas
16. American Seramas
17. **Bantam English White Orpington
18. **Bantam English Jubilee Orpington
19. **English Jubilee Orpington
20. **APA Bantam Buff Orpington & Call Ducks
21. Grow-out
22. Grow-out

** Are tentative as I have leads on them, but honestly I may need additional space to grow birds out next year. So we'll see where that goes.

Here are two of my threads that dealt with building the first pen and house: Build Thread and the Finished House that were for the original Silver-laced Orpingtons that started this whole journey all over again. Here is a thread devoted to converting the barn into the current breeding pens. I have a lot of content posted in the Imported English Orpington thread, and if you want to keep up with the other Orpington breeders and see some pretty birds, it's a great place to hang out. The purpose of the thread again is to share my birds with you all, do some learning, do some teaching, and see some pretty pictures. I'll try to keep it on topic best I can. Without further ado, let's introduce some Orpingtons...

Sterling and Duchess, my founding pair of Silver-laced Orpingtons I happened across while browsing Craigslist. While their type and lacing were phenomenal, both birds had yellow skin which is not correct. Additionally Sterling also had side sprigs on his comb. While I did produce some birds from them, I only have one hen (with correct skin color) left from that breeding. Sterling and Duchess have both passed away and are no longer part of the breeding program. Their son I kept back for sentimental reasons was also sold off this fall. This bloodline came from Crazy Ewe Farms before they sold their breeding stock to Carolina Rare Chicks.

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Later that year in the late spring/early summer I found a breeder that due to a series of accidents was selling off their last four Silver-laced Orpingtons; two males and two hens. I made the two hour drive (one way) to get the birds and brought them home. Thus Hollywood, "No Name", Mel, and Sue came to Fairy Tail Farms. These birds had the correct skin color and were all two years and younger. Those four birds also came from three different bloodlines and were all unrelated to my original pair.

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Again on Craigslist I stumbled across a breeder in Burleson that was selling some young English Silver-laced Orpingtons. I made the 2.5 hour drive (one way) to pick up six of these; four for myself (three pullets and one cockerel) and a pair that was going to love at a friend's house as an insurance policy should something happen to my flock. These birds came from two different breeders and were unrelated to one another, as well as all four bloodlines I currently had.

Here is a picture of the pair that threw the chicks I purchased:

English Silver-laced Orpington Pair.jpg


The male was very young in that photo and matured beautifully as I saw him a year later in person. Sadly I lost all the pullets, save one, to very large rat snakes living in the bedding in the hen house. They were coming out and taking the birds off their perches and killing them, despite being unable to eat them. Golly, my American Buff gander killed the cockerel.

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Surviving pullet, Victoria, who is now a lovely, well-filled out hen:

Silver-laced Orpington Pullet (Burleson).jpeg


Pre-pandemic in February/March of 2020 I drove back to Burleson and brought home the Silver-laced hen that produced the pullet as well as the pullet's brother. I also brought home a White hen to add to the White breeding pen. The Whites were produced by the Silver-laced as they carry Recessive White. I also made another four hour drive in another direction to bring home another unrelated Silver-laced pullet that was bred by someone in Waco that was getting out of the Silver-laced Orpingtons. I now have six bloodlines that I've founded my flock with and am not planning on outcrossing unless needed at this point. I have two unrelated males that are being used in the Blue Silver-laced project.

I will also post a chick picture for now from my original pair of Silver-laced. All breeding combinations have thrown these two down colors in addition to the Recessive White chicks that also crop up from their breeding pen. We have discussed in other threads before the reason behind it. But no one has ever been 100% certain in their opinion. As you can see one looks like a traditional Silver-laced, while the other looks Gold-laced.

Silver and Gold-laced Orpington Chicks.jpg


All of the birds that start out with a faux gold down feather in Silver-laced as adults.

Feel free to discuss. I'll be adding additional posts with the other varieties in the near future as well as updates.
 

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ColtHandorf

🙄🤚 Sass Master
Premium Feather Member
Feb 19, 2019
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Klondike, Texas
So shortly after getting the Silver-laced Orpingtons I thought to myself, "Wouldn't these be pretty in Blue?" The longer I thought about it the more I decided I was going to do it. I remember Suede, @speckledhen's beautiful Orpington rooster fifteen years ago, and all the other gorgeous BBS Orps that were on the forum. And then I saw @Faraday40's gorgeous Blue Silver-laced project Orpingtons she's working on and decided I had to have some. I started scouring Facebook and Craigslist hoping I could find some quality birds without having to ship them in. As luck would have it I stumbled across someone that was selling out of all their birds and I picked up a six month old pair; a black pullet and a gorgeous blue cockerel. I also brought home a younger blue pullet and a chocolate pullet because "chicken math". Since then I have added some additional BBS bloodlines from some other breeders. The cockerel that replaced Suede after his unfortunate end by the American Buff gander, as well as the Blue and Mauve pullet carry Mottled which I didn't know until adding them into the breeding pen and hatching their first set of chicks, so I'll be working with mottled birds in the future.

These are the pictures from the sale ad where I found them.

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Here are Dahlia and Suede with some Silver-laced when they were all sharing a pen last winter.

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The parents of my original Chocolate pullet:

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Dahlia (Black), Agatha (Blue), Dorcas (US Lavender), and Prudence (Chocolate) enjoying the new barn when I moved them while waiting for Suede to return from his convalescence:

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The replacement cockerel and some new girls from another local breeder:

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I am hoping that breeding the new male over Suede's to original hens that were from the first breeder will produce some darker, big blues like Suede and the younger birds you see in the sale ads. My current blues are much lighter. And of course I'll have to see how the mottling plays out. I've added some Black Mottled/Lavender Mottled chicks that should be ready to breed in the late spring. I'm undecided if I want to try to get the Mottled birds in their own pen and keep one line without it.

Agatha, the original Blue pullet produced the F1 Blue Silver-laced pullets that are finally reaching laying age. I realize I have no good pictures of them, so I'll see what I can do to remedy that, provided the weather stays decent.
 

ColtHandorf

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Aw, Colt! You made me nostalgic! 😢
They are gorgeous. Thank you for tagging me. I miss Suede so much that, on occasion, I accidentally call my Blue Partridge Brahma rooster by that name, probably because of his super wide blue chest. Hope you have a wonderful 2021.

He was a beautiful rooster! I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a great 2021 as well. :) :hugs
 

ColtHandorf

🙄🤚 Sass Master
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Feb 19, 2019
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Klondike, Texas
After the addition of the new Silver-laced bloodlines to my original pair I hatched the first two White chicks. After some research it appears that the Silver-laced birds carry a recessive white gene. The first two chick, Derek and Odette were a pair so I decided I'd build another breed pen and add birds to the as they hatched out. Other than the addition of one White hen from the breeder in Burleson where I obtained Victoria and her mother (SLO) I haven't added any unrelated White birds. They are all derived from the SLO breeding pen. As I understand it, breeding a Silver-laced male over any of the White females will result in Silver-laced birds (unless the male also carries the recessive White gene).

Derek, Anne, Odette, Diana, Jane, and Eleanor:

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